PLEASE, be patient with me. I’m not myself this year, and may not ever be again. This year of your life is one that I’ve looked forward to, and dreaded for your entire life. THIS is what we’ve been working for!
Let me start from the beginning. When I was your age I thought my parents were the most boring, old, outdated, didn’t know anything about my world people there could ever be. They were my parents and I loved them with all my heart, because they loved me. But, I’ll be honest, they weren’t the center of my life. My friends were, and that’s OK because that’s how life works.
Then your father and I met and became best friends and we fell in love and I thought that my heart would burst because of how desperately I loved him. My heart felt like a balloon stretched to the point of nearly bursting, but not quite. You know, where you can flick it and it makes that really great echo-y boing sound. Yeah, that’s where it was. We got married and it was out of that very heart-bursting love that you were created. When I held you in my arms for the first time, that heart that was already stretched so tight full of love for your father, stretched even further – very similar to the Grinch at Christmas, it grew three sizes that day! I never, in my entire life, knew of the kind love that I had for you. My firstborn child, created in love, PART of my ever-growing heart. It was a completely different love than I had for your father or my parents. It was the love of a mother for her child. Fierce … yet very vulnerable.
As you grew, I loved you more and more with each passing day. I changed your diapers, I washed your captivatingly precious pudding covered face after you ate. I did EVERYTHING for you.
the day you came into this world and sucked in air for the first time. I became a completely different person when I met you. I became a mother. The giver of your life, your protector, your confidante, your guardian. I was your everything. The first time you smiled at recognizing my face I thought my heart would stop. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my entire life. Yes, YOU.
I took you to playdates and helped you learn how to socialize, and how to be the good friend that you are today to those people you choose over me every time. My entire goal in life was to help you learn the skills necessary to be a functioning independent adult. And whether you realize it or not, that is still the main goal in my life, even though it’s breaking my heart to see it happen.
I am your mother. I will always BE your mother. I will always be the one who washed your face, and clothed your body and taught you how to be a person that people love. I will always be here loving you. No matter how many times you roll your eyes at me because you think I just don’t understand what you’re going through or how things “really are” out there in the “real world.” I wish you knew just how much I really DO know about it. It would make your head spin, but I don’t tell you that. I just let you keep thinking I’m an old fogey.
I will always be here loving you, no matter how many times you leave me behind to go hang out with your friends. I’m glad you don’t know how much it breaks my heart that you choose them over me. This is the person I raised you to be. Even though it hurts me in the process, it’s what we’ve been working toward. Independence.
I will always be here supporting you, no matter how many underdeveloped prefrontal lobe decisions you make that risk your future. Again, I’m glad you don’t know how much it hurts me to see you fall, but the only way you’re going to learn to get up on your own is if I let you fall so you can pick yourself up. It hurts because you ARE a part of me. You’re my DNA, my heart, my life, my child. You’re the one that I gave everything up for the day you were born and that hasn’t changed. It looks different, but it hasn’t changed.
I will always be here wondering what you’re up to when you leave for college and become the independent adult I spent so much time training you to be. I wish you knew just how PROUD I am of you. But, there’s no way for you to know what that feels like until you do all this yourself and become the father of a senior. You will ALWAYS be my baby. No matter how big, and grown-up, and smart, and successful (or not) you become, I will always be your mother. I will always be proud of you. I will always love you. I will always be here for you, whether you need me to be or not.
It’s been quite the process getting here, but we’re here nonetheless. Senior year. I’m not ready for this. And while I know you think you are, you’re not. BUT we’re here nonetheless! We have one semester left of living in the same house together and sucking the same air. You’re moving away to become that independent man I raised you to be. I am
of you and the person, you’ve become. You’re going to do a great job as an independent adult. But so much of me wishes you didn’t have to go. That we weren’t here yet. That we weren’t at the part of the story where you take that three size bigger heart and tear it away when you leave and take the part that you represent with you.
It’s often said that having children is like allowing a part of your heart to walk around and bump into things and get hurt. They’re right, it DOES feel like that and we’re on the verge of this piece of my heart being farther away from me for longer than it has even been in my entire life. My heart feels like it’s being torn apart like roasted chicken for a meal. (Hey I’m a mom that cooks, it’s the best analogy I could come up with!) It’s like the piece of chicken is my heart and someone is taking a fork and tearing it apart bit by bit. While it hurts like the Dickens, it’s OK because this is all part of the process of growing up that we’re both going through. The day you came into my life changed my world forever. And the day that you leave my house (but never my life) will change us both forever. I will be so happy and proud for you as you embark on this most excellent journey we call life. But I will be devastated for me, simply because I will MISS YOU.
You have filled my life with excitement and laughter and joy. Your simple presence in your chair with your phone brings light to my life. I love watching you watch a funny video and laugh out loud at it. I love the smile your father and I exchange when it happens. You’ve made our hearts happy because you are happy. We will miss that – being able to see you laugh over something funny. But more than that, we’re happy that you’ve made it this far. That WE’VE made it this far. We did it! We made it to your senior year! And while it’s been like shredding chicken this whole year, I could not be more proud of the man you have become. You’re going to be just fine out there in this big ole world of ours!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to knock you on your butt every chance it gets! That’s what it does. But you’re my child, you’ll survive it and you’ll learn from the fall and you’ll get back up again and face things head on like the independent man we raised you to be.
You’ve got this!
We believe in you.